Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by UKDancer, Nov 22, 2011.
That would be less of a problem if followers learned to lead. Yes, I know this is so meta ;-)
Well, where else do we get the chance to say "No, no, that's not what I led ..."
The trouble is that if you think you are leading something properly, and yet the follower doesn't follow as you intend, you need a few repetitions and some experimentation to work it out. The milonga isn't the place for that, but certainly around here, practicas are informal milongas, in disguise, and very few people have come to practise, but to dance.
I led something and she did not follow. "What did you want me to do? Oh, ok, this is what I felt but as I am not familiar with that I did not do it".
Nowadays, I only lead things followers are familiar with. Thanks to followers I am getting worse as time goes by. Once in a while there comes a good follower though, and she asks "Hey you used to lead nice things, where is your tango gone?". Torn to shreds by "good-enough" followers.
I'd rather a follower always danced what she felt. At least that way I could improve my leading. I think that I have a responsibility only to lead what is familiar to me, but without any real practice opportunities, that is going to continue to be a small repertoire.
yeah but you can do fluckerells or whatever their called..
Fleckerls? No chance at all, unless you both knew what you're doing. A follower might be able to just run around, in a standing spin type movement - which could be quite fun, but not quite the same thing.
in retrospect, my original comment was inaccurate. Tango beginners are usually more critical of their level than salsa counterparts. But, true enough, there are some more experienced tangueros (I know at least one) who think they are great, when in fact they are not so much. As fellow commenters here have said earlier, usually it's someone with a collection of fancy steps who lacks mastery of basics such as walking, embracing and listening to the music.
I'm not sure a small repertoire is a bad thing, if it involves passion for dance, compassion for your partner, real enjoyment for both parties. One of my (ballroom) teachers used to always say "Flash and trash. Flash and trash." Dancing fancy steps is not the same thing as dancing well or enjoyably.
At the end of the day, isn't it about joy?
couldnt you lead her in a giro?
Yes, 100% agreement - which is not to say that I wouldn't like to widen my repertoire a bit.
Yes, but we're talking about a different degree of rotation here: two complete turns over six steps. I don't think it would be very practical, but it would be fun to try with the right partner.
Nothing wrong with some flash. Used in the right place, at the right time, it can be quite nice. A dance composed of nothing but flash is like a dish made of only spice.
yeah but Flash saved the universe...
in under 14 hours
Or maybe leaders should learn to follow.
I agree with you in principle, but in my experience (and the followers I talk to) when the leader tries to "practice", what he wants to do is tell the follower what she is doing wrong. They want someone to practice with, but not only do they not want any useful feedback from the follower, they want to blame her for their practice going badly.
They don't really want a practice partner; they want a scapegoat.
I rest my case.
Actually, Flash is dead.
Exactly. It's easier to lead a really good follower, but that doesn't mean that you can't grow and improve as a leader by having to lead those who aren't as good. I'd certainly prefer to dance with really fabulous leaders, but I've improved as a follower by dancing with a variety of skill levels.
There is a point where someone needs to dance with really good partners to help them know what it's supposed to feel like when it's all done correctly. But that doesn't mean that you can't continue to improve after that point unless you only dance with those great partners in a social setting.
I feel that's what private lessons from respected, trusted teachers are for... for me to get to dance with truly amazing partners and understand what's me and what isn't me when I dance socially. For me to get feedback from someone I know isn't contributing to the problem in ways I don't understand yet myself. For me to know what it should feel like, and what it does feel like when I'm dancing correctly. Then I take that to the social floor and attempt to create that dance with partners who are more challenging.
Even if a practica is treated as a mini-milonga, I would think you could simply say to a follower: "I'm trying to learn X.. would you work on it with me?" I think every follower I know would respond positively to that. It implies that you feel she is qualified and that you respect her ability to help improve your ability to dance that thing.
The problem isn't that followers don't want to practice. It's that leaders often give the impression that they don't believe the follower they are practicing with has anything valuable to contribute. Then followers decide they'd rather just dance because anything more just leads to friction.
At least that's my experience and that of the women I talk to.
I don't know about the salsa scene, but it does seem that tango beginners are unnecessarily hard on themselves.
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